Encyclopedia Titanica

Frank Port

Frank Port

Mr Frank Port was born in Chatham, Kent, England on 6 August 1889.

He was the son of James Port (b. 1860) and Ellen Margaret Roscoe (b. 1857). His father, an infantry private in the British Army, hailed from Hampshire and his mother from Herefordshire and they were married in London on 4 February 1884.

Franks siblings were: Thomas James (1885-1914), Robert Frederick Stephen (1887-1913) and Olive May (1894-1902).

Frank first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family were living at the Lower Chatham Barracks, Kent. The family later moved to Winchester, Hampshire and show up living at the Barracks in St Thomas. His father later left the army and became a railway clerk. His mother Ellen died in Portsmouth on 14 September 1910 and his father apparently died shortly after in Southampton.

Initially pursuing a career as a clerk Frank, an epileptic, joined the Royal Navy on 14 June 1910 and was described as standing at 5' 7½", and had brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. His first appointment was as the cook's mate aboard Victory I and made two voyages aboard this vessel, later joining the Attentive in March 1911. He appears on this vessel on the 1911 census, then docked at Portland, Dorset and Port was described as an unmarried cook's mate. Despite universal good conduct this was to be his final naval voyage and he was invalided as a result of his epilepsy on 8 June 1911. He went on to join the merchant service.

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Port gave his address as Rockbourne, Foundry Lane, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Oceanic and as a third class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.

Port was rescued (in which lifeboat is unclear) and he returned to England, not being required to testify to either the British or American Inquiries into the sinking. 

Frank never married and continued working at sea and did so throughout the duration of WWI and into the 1920s. 

Apparently a sickly man in his later years, in 1922 Port was a cook aboard the SS Appalachee of the Anglo-American Oil Company when he was admitted to the Dreadnought Seaman's Hospital Ship in March that year on account of his epilepsy and other complaints where he spent over ten days before his discharge, his address at the time still being recorded as Rockbourne on Foundry Lane, Southampton. 

Frank's poor health may have forced him to take land-based work and by the time of the 1939 British Register he was a chef in an officer's mess at the Royal Tank Corps Barracks on Imber Road in Warminster, Wiltshire.

Frank's final recorded address was 5 Redenham Villas in Ludgershall near Salisbury, Wiltshire. He died in the Tower House Emergency Hospital, Salisbury on 23 August 1943 due to acute renal failure. He was buried at Devizes road cemetery, Salisbury, (section 7, plot 599).

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Craig Stringer (2003) Titanic People, CD-ROM
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Photo: National Archives (Courtesy of Gavin Bell)

Newspaper Articles

Western Morning News (29 April 1912) Westcountry Connections
An interesting conversation with two of the survivors
Search archive online

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Frank Port
Age: 22 years 8 months and 9 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Steward
Last Ship: Oceanic
Embarked: Southampton on Thursday 4th April 1912
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Cause of Death:
Buried: Devizes road cemetery, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

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